A true remedy for trauma: two cases of Buddleia davidii
When I first read about this remedy, I was very skeptical. It sounded like the homeopathic equivalent of Bach's rescue remedy and therefore it did not appeal to me. Since I already had rescue remedy, which had proven its worth, I wondered why would I need this new remedy, which came from a book called ‘Meditative Provings’. This speculative title alone gave me reservations.
All in all it did not appeal to me, and though it remained somewhere in the back of my mind I did not prescribe it (or even order it from a pharmacy) until Alize Timmerman reminded me of this remedy again a couple of years ago. I slowly started prescribing it now and then in acute situations, but I also allowed myself to ‘experiment’ with a new remedy instead of just prescribing Aconite, Ignatia, Phosphoric acid or another first aid remedy for an emotional trauma.
Then, Madeline Evans, who introduced this remedy, came to the Hahnemann Institute (in Holland) for a lecture, in which she clearly stated all of her remedies were not just meditated on, they were also proved traditionally. This removed my last doubts, and I started prescribing it with more confidence and, probably therefore, with better results.
I would like to present two cases, where the healing power of this remedy is both perceptible and profound without doubt, and which both demonstrate the essence and depth of this remedy for which I will be forever grateful to Madeline Evans; I hope this wonderful remedy will find its way to your practice was well.
A thirty-three year old woman made an appointment because of listlessness, irritability, nervousness, sleeplessness, headaches, and recurring colds.
Patient (P): “Lately, I’ve been very irritable, especially at home with my family. They (oldest son and husband) should all hurry up and stop complaining! My husband (with whom I have been married for 12 years) and I have two children, two boys: one is five and the other is almost four. The youngest has multiple handicaps, which demand more time and more planning.”
She works part time in a retirement home as an organizer of all sorts of activities. Most of these people are slightly demented and have physical handicaps, but she loves the work and has been doing it for about ten years.
P: “I get a lot of appreciation for my work there, which is very important to me, but lately, I let people take advantage of me and I get nervous quickly. It’s a restless nervousness.
“The thing is, I don’t know why this is all happening now. There have been no real changes at work and as a person, I’m not prone to nervousness. It doesn’t belong to me, and although I still enjoy the work, I’m always nervous nowadays. I also get headaches, which I never had before (pain: occipital, sore).
“Since last year, I get one cold after another. It starts as a common cold but then, I get a sore throat. Sometimes, I lose my voice, which makes it really difficult to function. When I lose my voice, I can no longer express myself and I no longer have a say in things.
“With our youngest child, we need to have a solid structure and clear boundaries. Usually, this isn’t a problem for me as I myself love to organize things and tend to lead a structured life but when I lose my voice, this all falls to pieces.
“Our youngest has a rare neurological condition and can’t walk; he has limited vocal abilities, very weak muscles and is a few years behind in his development for his age.
“Usually, I’m more patient. Now, I get irritable when people do not cooperate or when things get in my way.
“Until two years ago, I used to ride my motorbike to unwind but since we have children the risk is too big, so I sold it.”
Although she is talking a lot about structure (which is mineral), she gives me the impression that her current condition is really the result from some acute situation, so I ask her what has happened in the period when the colds and her irritability first started.
“In April, our youngest had to go to the hospital for some tests. Due to his condition, he has to go to the hospital often so for routine checks; sometimes, my husband goes with him and other times I go. This time, though, he had to stay overnight, it was only a simple test and a blood sample and I was accompanying him. The doctors didn’t expect many difficulties, but it was horrible. The procedure was very painful and then we had to wait for 2 days for the results to come in. It was a terrible experience and I had to try to comfort him but also had to keep my emotions inside for two days, which seemed like an eternity. My husband wasn’t there and nobody understood! I was angry, felt helpless, and when I explained to my husband, he didn’t understand either (she has difficulties controlling her emotions while telling this). I was all alone! It was after this experience that everything started.”
As she is re-telling (and reliving) the experience, it becomes clear to her too: this experience is at the root of her current condition.
Prescription: based on this, I decided to give her Buddleia 200K.
6 weeks later: “It was amazing! Immediately after the remedy, I got so much energy! I barely slept for three days but I didn’t miss the sleep. I was all hyper, as if I had an energy boost to do spring cleaning. There was work to be done and I wanted to do it! This surge lasted for about a month and now, it’s slightly decreasing and I start to get a bit weary again.”
WH: What else has changed?
P: “My husband is always complaining: ‘You don’t do anything’ and then, we get into this vicious circle where I get angry and the whole situation gets blocked. After the remedy, he accused me again, but instead of reacting out of indignation, it was possible for me to remain calm. I asked him why he was always accusing me of this when he knows it’s not true. I told him it hurts me and I asked him not to do it anymore. I understand he only says it out of his own helplessness and frustration and that he doesn’t mean it, but we have to stop this pattern! After I said it, I felt better and we haven’t been in this role play again. There is now room to discuss our frustrations without taking it out on each other. So, our relationship has started to grow.
“My oldest son and my husband both have a nervous restlessness. They try to do everything at once and they can’t sit still. I feel now that my nervousness is from them and I can leave it with them.”
The events of April seem to have been processed. She now only remembers it as being very unpleasant but she can let it go.
P: “During this last period, my irritability was much less and the headaches have disappeared. Since the lack of energy and irritability are now slowly coming back, I would like to have another one please.”
Although a deeper problem with her husband is now arising, I want to see how much Buddleia will affect this, as it seems it has also touched this problem in a positive way.
Prescription: Buddleia 200K, single dose
Another six weeks later: “I still feel great. All my complaints have gone and have not returned. My husband used to say it’s my job to keep a happy atmosphere in the house, which felt like a burden because I was responsible for everybody’s mood. Now, I let that go and my relationship with my husband is deepening and I feel much better.”
She and her husband are working on things in a constructive way, so I do not prescribe and decide to wait.
There are several remedies that come to mind, Staphisagria probably being the first with its suppression and disappointment. She does, however, express anger. She is mild but her problem does not lie in the suppression of anger; she had to go through two hellish days and nobody understood her or was there to comfort her. She got very angry with her husband for not understanding this but it didn’t help. So, in depth there is a big change. The causation lies more in the experience than in the suppression element. Of course, Phosphoric acid could also be useful as there is a listlessness after a grievous event, after which her husband didn’t show any understanding (and later there was even the problem of bad communication). It probably would have helped her as well to some extend but for some reason it did not feel right (it did not resonate with me as being Ph-ac).
This is a case I have been working on for years. This patient, a sixty-nine year old woman, has been treated by many other therapists and has had many different treatments including: homeopathy, psychotherapy, acupuncture, herbal treatment, EMDR, Hellinger family constellation, Reiki, and Ayurveda before she came to me.
This is one of the most traumatized patients I ever treated, and until Buddleia the progress was minimal at best. If you came across a book with such a troubled main character, you would have thought that the writer had overdone it. To me, it illustrates the negative sides of living in a small rural area, where many things can go unnoticed.
It has taught me the incredible depth of this beautiful remedy.
As there are many traumas, I will give a short chronological biography of the patient’s life, mentioning only some of the bigger traumas.
She is the oldest of three children and comes from a religious farming family. Her mother, a very reserved and dominant woman, did not want to have children. So, when she got pregnant, she was not too happy about it - an understatement, because when her daughter was born, she refused to feed her. After two days (!), the local doctor, together with a police officer, forced the mother to feed the child. Although she did not starve, her mother never missed an opportunity to let her know she was not welcome.
Her mother wanted nothing to do with her and a maid came into the house, who was also a very dominant woman, who did not want the job (in these small local farming houses, young women of poor farmers were forced to earn a living by tending to other farmers’ children) and disliked children. This woman had some violent habits of making her do exactly as she wanted her to. Often, her mother would be in the same room while she was being beaten by this maid, and she did nothing about it.
When her mother became pregnant again, she did not hate the child (a boy) as much as her first born because now most of the work could be passed on to the maid and the first born; she did not have to care for the children much.
The maid was keen enough to see that she only had to punish the oldest child for the faults of the other two children, this way ensuring that the oldest child would do her every bidding and make her job easy.
My patient learned from a very early age to take care of her brother (and later on a sister) in a way that they would all avoid beatings.
Her brother, sister, and the maid had a relatively easy life. Needless to say that these conditions taught both her siblings to be manipulative. Her brother later developed a classic borderline personality, creating more havoc in later years.
When she was of school age (8), she was sent to a local school a couple of kilometers from the farm. On her way to school one day, she was attacked and raped by a soldier (this was in the middle of the Second World War). Completely overwhelmed and in shock from the experience, she ran home, where her mother locked her in her room. She did not know how to handle a child in such distress and, living in such a small town, did not want too much fuss created about the perpetrator. The girl figured she had to deal with it by herself, remaining in her room for 2 days without any contact. The same thing happened again when she was 15, and again when she was 19. The second time, her parents eventually believed that she had not provoke the attack, and the third time she did not tell her parents at all.
As she was constantly taking care of her brother and sister, there was little space for personal development and after her parents died, she remained to take care of her siblings. When she moved out, they went to live with her: her brother for a total period of 45 years (!) and her sister for 28 years.
She is now living on her own, as her sister died a few years ago of cancer and she could no longer look after her brother (his behavior made him impossible to live with). It took her years to finally muster up the courage to no longer look after him, and she still feels guilty about it (he loves to manipulate her through this guilt).
She fell in love with a man when she was about 30, but when she discovered he had diabetes in his family she broke off the relationship since she had diabetes in her family as well and did not want to take the risk of passing it on to her children.
She became a schoolteacher and has worked as such for about thirty years, until she finally retired, admitting to herself that it was too hard. She was constantly trying to protect all the children from any form of suffering and trying to be the best possible teacher; both tasks exceeding her (and anyone else’s) capability.
During this period, one of her pupils was the son of the man who raped her when she was 15. She spoke with him at every parent-teacher meeting and saw him almost daily, when he brought his children to school, but she never did anything. He knew, and she knew. Imagine what that must have felt like!
These are the most important traumas, though there were many more, which will give you a good picture of the foundation of her current condition.
She comes to me because she cannot weep, cannot feel or express anger, trembles all over (internally as well as externally), has panic attacks (she is a hypochondriac and during the panic attacks, she walks quickly through the living room), is an extreme perfectionist with very low self-esteem, has vertigo, is constantly full of care about everyone and everything, and has nervous tics in almost every muscle of her body, especially the facial muscles (her face is in constant motion). She has all sorts of digestive problems, recurring colds, painful dryness of the mucous membranes, and she has trouble sleeping.
From previous homeopaths, she has had several remedies without any deep or lasting results. Among them were, in alphabetical order: Arsenicum, Carcinosinum, carcinosinum-cum-cuprum, Gelsemium, Ignatia, several Magnesiums, several Natriums, Staphisagria, Stramonium, Zincum and many others in different potencies. Although they had some effect, she always fell back to where she was before the remedy, and there was no personal growth. It seemed as if the remedies only worked in acute states, taking away the edge but not touching the deeper levels.
Prescription: Buddleia MK
In the days after taking the remedy, the vertigo and her headaches disappeared and her mucous membranes became ‘wet’. She was very tired during the daytime and sometimes, even had to sleep during the day.
After six weeks, she came back and the physical complaints had improved. The trembling is almost gone, and her face, which was always full of tension with much twitching, is now so relaxed, the skin is literally hanging down from her cheeks.
Although she cannot remember them yet, she is starting to dream. More importantly, her emotions are coming a bit more to the foreground. She is becoming angry about several things in the present, and also about things that have happened in the past. She is also noticing that she can become almost tearful when someone is telling something sad. This is, of course, the safest way to express your emotions: projecting them onto someone else and weeping for their grief. The panic attacks are becoming less intense and less frequent.
To this date, I have repeated the remedy several times and she is still improving very well. She can now become angry, and even react and express her anger, whereas in the past she would have an anxiety attack, not even realising that she was in fact angry.
Her next step was to realise she was angry, brooding on it for days: “What should I have said and how should I have responded.” A couple of weeks ago, someone made a jesting remark and she angrily responded: “If these are the only types of comment you can make, you should shut up and keep them to yourself!” During the interview, she is constantly expressing her anger (“Damn this…” and “Damn that…”) on various subjects, expressing herself directly from the emotional layer.
She has been able to cry on several occasions but still ‘from a safe distance’; she can cry for someone else, but not for herself yet.
For the first time, she is allowing herself to look at her life and see what has happened from an emotional point of view. She is not in a victim role or stuck in self- pity, but is dealing with the events.
She still has a long way to go, but after Buddleia there is a beginning, an opening of the case. This is a path of real progress; even if there is a relapse, she will never fall back completely because now, there has been real growth.
Besides being a huge trauma remedy, I find that this is a remedy for this day and age. Most of my Buddleia prescriptions are for people who are just going through too much at the same time – it need not all be negative. For instance, a woman going through divorce and moving from her home, while her daughter moves out to live on her own. All this while going through several changes in her work, causing an overwhelmed state, where she is crowded by emotions and no longer able to live life from the heart.
Another patient is a single mother whose only child is going to school for the first time, giving her time to start a new job, and meanwhile moving to another house.
Each event is a “life event” and it requires a certain time to cope. But as life is becoming faster and more intense people want to (and are forced to) do several things at once, causing a stagnation in our vital energy flow. This could also be a great remedy for ADHD children, who are pushed by their parents to the maximum of their capacities, or just not allowed to be a child: they have to grow up too quickly.
These people get caught in the flow of events and lose the ability to come back to their own rhythm.
It is not like Nux vomica who knows what he wants but lacks the time or focus to do it all at once. These people get overwhelmed and then blocked. They often describe feeling many emotions at the same time, for example: “I feel happy, sad, angry and relieved at the same time.” This remedy will bring equanimity. Often, that is all they need: a breather, which makes this remedy, in my opinion, all the more wonderful. If we give these people Arnica, Nux, Ignatia or some other acute remedy, it will easily put its matrix over the essence of the patient, possibly suppressing certain processes. Buddleia in its way of healing comes before all others. It brings a calmness from which the patient can decide what needs to be dealt with and in which way. If that causes problems one can still give Nux, Ignatia, etc., but I’ve found that people often work it out without further help.
Evans writes: “Does not want to take on
life's task after a shock.
Detachment, isolation, withdrawing into the self, not connecting with the heart centre; stuckness and an inability to move forward, a stilling of the emotions so that nothing is felt directly.”
I think this is very true. It is, however, not that they do not want to move forward, but they cannot seem to be able to let go of the trauma and go on with their lives. As with Natrium muriaticum, something happens and it is as though from there on, in their entire life development, there is a thread going back to this event. As you can see in the second case, she is letting go.
With each follow up, I notice the past is less and less deciding what is happening in her life in the here and now.
This remedy should be remembered for people suffering from any form of birth trauma.
In my opinion, Buddleia Davidii should be added to the following rubrics:
MIND - ABSENTMINDED
MIND - ABSORBED
MIND - AFFECTIONATE
MIND - AILMENTS FROM - abused; after being
MIND - AILMENTS FROM - abused; after being - children
MIND - AILMENTS FROM - abused; after being - indignation; with
MIND - AILMENTS FROM - abused; after being - marriage; in
MIND - AILMENTS FROM - abused; after being - physically
MIND - AILMENTS FROM - abused; after being - sexually
MIND - AILMENTS FROM - abused; after being - violence; from
MIND - AILMENTS FROM - abused; after being - violence; from - children
MIND - AILMENTS FROM - ambition - deceived
MIND - AILMENTS FROM - anger
MIND - AILMENTS FROM - anger - anxiety; with
MIND - AILMENTS FROM - anger - fright; with
MIND - AILMENTS FROM - anger - indignation; with
MIND - AILMENTS FROM - anger - silent grief; with
MIND - AILMENTS FROM - anger - suppressed
MIND - AILMENTS FROM - anticipation
MIND - AILMENTS FROM - anxiety
MIND - AILMENTS FROM - anxiety - prolonged; from
MIND - AILMENTS FROM - bad news
MIND - AILMENTS FROM - betrayed; from being
MIND - AILMENTS FROM - cares, worries
MIND - AILMENTS FROM - deceived; from being
MIND - AILMENTS FROM - disappointment
MIND - AILMENTS FROM - domination - long time; for a
MIND - AILMENTS FROM - emotions
MIND - AILMENTS FROM - excitement
MIND - AILMENTS FROM - excitement - emotional
MIND - AILMENTS FROM - excitement - suppressed
MIND - AILMENTS FROM - fear
MIND - AILMENTS FROM - forced; from being
MIND - AILMENTS FROM - friendship; deceived
MIND - AILMENTS FROM - fright
MIND - AILMENTS FROM - fright - old fright
MIND - AILMENTS FROM - grief
MIND - AILMENTS FROM - grief - silent grief
MIND - AILMENTS FROM - hurry
MIND - AILMENTS FROM - love; disappointed
MIND - AILMENTS FROM - mental exertion
MIND - AILMENTS FROM - mental shock; from
MIND - AILMENTS FROM - neglected; being
MIND - AILMENTS FROM - prostration of mind
MIND - AILMENTS FROM - punishment
MIND - AILMENTS FROM - quarrelling
MIND - AILMENTS FROM - responsibility
MIND - AILMENTS FROM - rudeness of others
MIND - AILMENTS FROM - surprises - unpleasant
MIND - AILMENTS FROM - unhappiness
MIND - AMBITION - increased
MIND - ANGER
MIND - ANGUISH
MIND - ARGUING - not arguing
MIND - AVERSION - everything, to
MIND - BEHAVIOR PROBLEMS - children; in
MIND - BROODING
MIND - CARES, full of
MIND - CARRIED - desire to be carried
MIND - CAUTIOUS
MIND - CONCENTRATION - difficult
MIND - CONFIDENCE - want of self-confidence
MIND - CONSOLATION - agg.
MIND - CONSOLATION - amel.
MIND - DESPAIR
MIND - DESPAIR - recovery, of
MIND - DESPAIR - work, over his
MIND - DETACHED
MIND - DETACHED - sensation of being
MIND - DETERMINATION
MIND - DISCOURAGED
MIND - DULLNESS
MIND - DUTY - too much sense of duty
MIND - DUTY - too much sense of duty - children; in
MIND - DWELLS - past disagreeable occurrences, on
MIND - EMBITTERED
MIND - EMOTIONS - predominated by the intellect
MIND - EMOTIONS - suppressed
MIND - ESTRANGED
MIND - EXCITEMENT - nervous
MIND - FEAR
MIND - FEAR - alone, of being
MIND - FEAR - dentist; of going to
MIND - FEAR - doctors
MIND - FEAR - happen, something will
MIND - FEAR - hurt, of being
MIND - FEAR - injury - being injured; of
MIND - FEAR - solitude, of
MIND - FEAR - sudden
MIND - FORSAKEN feeling
MIND - FORSAKEN feeling - beloved by his parents, wife, friends; feeling of not being
MIND - FORSAKEN feeling - isolation; sensation of
MIND - FRIGHTENED easily
MIND - FRIGHTENED easily - trifles, at
MIND - GENEROUS; too
MIND - GRIMACES
MIND - HELPLESSNESS; feeling of
MIND - HOUSEKEEPING - unable to do housekeeping; women
MIND - INSECURITY; mental
MIND - IRRITABILITY
MIND - MENTAL EXERTION - agg.
MIND - MENTAL EXERTION - agg. - fatigues
MIND - MENTAL EXERTION - agg. - impossible
MIND - MENTAL EXERTION - aversion to
MIND - MILDNESS
MIND - ORPHANS
MIND - PATIENCE
MIND - PERSEVERANCE
MIND - POSTPONING everything to next day
MIND - PRECOCITY of children
MIND - PROSTRATION of mind
MIND - PROSTRATION of mind - anxiety, after
MIND - PROSTRATION of mind - cares, from
MIND - PROSTRATION of mind - grief; from
MIND - PROSTRATION of mind - pain; from
MIND - PROSTRATION of mind - sleeplessness, with
MIND - PROSTRATION of mind - working too hard
MIND - PUBERTY; in
MIND - QUARRELLING - aversion to
MIND - QUIET disposition
MIND - REFLECTING
MIND - REPROACHING oneself
MIND - REPROACHING others
MIND - RESERVED
MIND - RESIGNATION
MIND - RESPONSIBILITY - taking responsibility too seriously
MIND - RESTLESSNESS
MIND - SADNESS
MIND - SADNESS - disappointment, from
MIND - SADNESS - grief, after
MIND - SERIOUS
MIND - SITTING - inclination to sit - wrapped in deep, sad thoughts and notices nothing; as if
MIND - STARING, thoughtless
MIND - STARTING
MIND - STUDYING - difficult
MIND - SYMPATHETIC
MIND - TACITURN
MIND - THEORIZING
MIND - TIMIDITY
MIND - UNFORTUNATE, feels
MIND - WEARY OF LIFE
MIND - WEEPING
MIND - WEEPING - amel.
MIND - WEEPING - cannot weep, though sad
MIND - WEEPING - children, in
MIND - WEEPING - desire to weep
MIND - WEEPING - involuntary
MIND - YIELDING disposition
VERTIGO - MENTAL EXERTION - agg.
VERTIGO - VERTIGO
HEAD - HEAVINESS
HEAD - HEAVINESS - mental exertion agg.
HEAD - INJURIES of the head; after
HEAD - PAIN - anger; after
HEAD - PAIN - anticipation; from
HEAD - PAIN - fright - after
HEAD - PAIN - injuries; after mechanical
HEAD - PAIN - mental exertion - agg.
NECK - TENSION
EYE - QUIVERING
EYE - TWITCHING
EYE - WINKING
NOSE - DRYNESS - Inside
NOSE - DRYNESS - Inside - painful
FACE - TREMBLING - Lips
FACE - TREMBLING - Mouth - About
FACE - TWITCHING
FACE - TWITCHING - Mouth - Around
FACE - TWITCHING - Mouth - Corners of
TEETH - OPERATION; after dental
THROAT - LUMP; sensation of a
STOMACH - ANXIETY
STOMACH - NAUSEA - anxiety - with
STOMACH - NAUSEA - excitement; after
ABDOMEN - ANXIETY in
CHEST - PALPITATION of heart - anxiety - with
EXTREMITIES - RESTLESSNESS
SLEEP - SLEEPLESSNESS - anxiety, from
SLEEP - SLEEPLESSNESS - cares; from
SLEEP - SLEEPLESSNESS - thoughts - activity of thoughts; from
SLEEP - UNREFRESHING
GENERALS - CHRONIC FATIGUE Syndrome
GENERALS - COLD; TAKING A - tendency
GENERALS - CONVALESCENCE; ailments during
GENERALS - INJURIES
GENERALS - INJURIES - ailments from; chronic
GENERALS - INJURIES - operation - ailments from
GENERALS - JET LAG
GENERALS - PAIN - Muscles
GENERALS - SLEEP - loss of sleep; from
GENERALS - WEAKNESS
GENERALS - WEAKNESS – Muscular
For further reading:
Madeline Evans – Meditative proving volume I
Peacock butterfly on buddleia flower; Alan Fryer; Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.
Sad child; Cuito Cuanavale; Flickr
Buddleia; Tony Hisgett; Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.
Keywords: emotional trauma, fatigue, irritability, helplessness
Remedies: Buddleia davidii